dimanche 23 septembre 2012

Fête des Jardins - Parc Watteau

Due to a reluctant family I saw less of the Fête des Jardins as I hoped.  Finally, we just managed a trip out to a fairly local park, but still,one that we hadn't visited before.  Weather was warm and sunny and plenty of visitors were out enjoying the day.

The Parc Watteau is in Nogent-sur-Marne in the Department of Val de Marne.  It covers 1.7 hectares and  is built on a steep hill, so it's a very challenging site.

The area, just off the main road running through Nogent and a stones throw from the main street of shops, was owned privately.  After it was purchased by the local Council in the 70s, it was developed as a public park in a classical design.  The park is quiet and calm and surrounded by stone walls which protect it from the wind.  At the top of the park, the space opens with a row of lime trees onto three terraces with the third terrace offering a fantastic view over the Marne Valley - a balcony over the Marne.

After the three tarraces, the park gives way to a very sloping lawn and a less organised area - there's a green outdoors theatre, an impressive waterfall surrounded by large rocks (great to climb for kids) and embedded with multicoloured pebbles, leading to a small round pond, and small childrens' playground.

the waterfall was much enjoyed by small boys who climbed up it

If you approach from the lower entrance to the park, there's a small climb to the top and before you go in, make sure you take a little stroll on the road Val de Beauté which is beautifully planted with grasses and plants next to the road and runs alongside a wooded area.  It's very restful.

Here are some pictures from the day of the Fête des Jardins.  There were many children and adults enjoying the old fashioned wooden games, there were stands where you could exchange plants, a stall ran by 'Mamie Rose' who used lots of herbs in her cooking, a tour of smelly watering cans (which gave off lemon, basil, rosemary etc smells when you sniffed the end of the spout.  There were various posts showing natural gardening tips and if you undertook the quiz and guessed the flavour of the jam (rhubarb), you won a keyring!  All in all, a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Impressive insect house

Well being through plants

Sniff the watering can I thought it might be a joke and it would spray water on my face, but no!

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